Title: Getting Off On Frank Sinatra
Author: Megan Edwards
Publisher: Imbrifex Books
Pub Date: March 14, 2017
Genre(s): Mystery, Humor
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ABOUT THE BOOK
A scorching Las Vegas summer is about to get even hotter.
Aspiring journalist Copper Black has just found out that her boyfriend is responsible for his not-quite-ex-wife’s pregnancy. An unexpected house-sitting job at a notorious Las Vegas “party house” should provide not only a pool with a swim-up bar but also much-needed distraction.
While researching a story about an exclusive private school, Copper accidentally discovers the dead body of the school’s beloved founder. Now involved in a high-profile murder investigation, Copper turns to her brother, a civic-minded pastor who is overseeing the construction of a center for the homeless. A Paiute medicine man claims the site is a sacred burial ground, attracting hordes of protesters.
As she tries to solve the murder, help her brother, advance her career, and sort out her love life, Copper stirs up a world of trouble. Her escapades as she evades a sociopath, a disturbed cowgirl, and a suspicious homicide detective make Megan Edwards’ rousing debut novel Getting Off on Frank Sinatra a nonstop roller coaster of a read.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Megan Edwards is an American writer and editor. She is the author of several novels, two of which are being published this year: Getting Off On Frank Sinatra (March 2017), and Full Service Blonde (November 2017).
Layla: Hi Megan! I understand that you first came to Las Vegas in order to do research for a book. What made you want to call it home?
Megan: Never in my wildest dreams did I think I would like Las Vegas, much less fall in love with it. I expected to spend a few weeks, learn what I needed to know to make the character in my book believable, and then get the heck out. But then, as I started riding the bus routes, talking to locals, and exploring the city and its environs, I found myself saying over and over again, “This is just not what I thought.” I discovered the community, the residents, the history—wherever I turned, there was more to see, more to appreciate. Add in the fact that the whole world washes in and out of Vegas on a daily basis, and I found myself falling in love with the energy of the place. I’d lived “on the road” for nearly seven years when I came to southern Nevada. Las Vegas was not the first place I fell in love with, but it was the first place that made me want to say, “I’m home.”
Layla: And a follow-up question: What kind of research do you do, and how long do you spend researching before beginning a book?
Megan: I feel as though I am always doing research, wherever I go and whomever I meet. When I’m working on a book, there’s always specific research I’ll need to do, but I’ll work on it as I’m writing. I’d say it adds months on to the project, but I’m also relying on years of background I’ve got on reserve, now that I’ve lived in Las Vegas for 17 years.
Layla: In your opinion, is Las Vegas really as crazy as all the books and movies make it out to be? For readers like myself (who have never been), how would you describe real life there?
Megan: The stereotypes all have some basis in truth. So yes, you can find most, if not all of the wacky stuff that you’ve read about or seen about. Las Vegas markets itself as an adult playground, which means that business owners here are constantly looking for ways to astound and delight visitors. What you soon discover if you live here, however, is that this is a very conservative city in many ways. It was founded by Mormons, after all, and it still has the largest Mormon population outside of Salt Lake City. So, as paradoxical as it may seem, it is both as crazy as movies depict and straight-laced, too. It all depends on where you are and who you’re hanging with.
Layla: Do you believe in writer’s block?
Megan: Oh, how I wish I could stop believing in it and have it disappear! Breaking through writer’s block—or writer’s slowdown—is an ongoing challenge. I’ve got a few tricks that help break a stalemate. I wish it were easier.
Layla: If you didn’t write, what would you like to do for work?
Megan: Years ago, I taught school in Germany and Greece. I think I’d like to do something like that again, or maybe the Peace Corps. I love spending enough time in a foreign country to feel like a local.
Layla: What are a couple of your favorite books?
Megan: Oh, so many fantastic books! Limiting it to two is difficult, but I’m going to go with Winterdance: The Fine Madness of Running the Iditarod, by Gary Paulsen and Gentlemen Prefer Blondes: The Intimate Diary of a Professional Lady, by Anita Loos. Ask me tomorrow, and I might choose others, but these two are both unforgettable. Winterdance is everything a memoir ought to be: funny, poignant, exciting, and heartwarming. Everybody thinks of Marilyn Monroe when you mention Gentlemen Prefer Blondes, but the movie doesn’t begin to capture the brilliance of Anita Loos’ prose. Now that I’ve been reminded of it, I’m going to read it again. It’ll probably be my twelfth time—that’s how good it is.
Layla: In your new book, Getting Off On Frank Sinatra, which character did you most enjoy writing about?
Megan: Mary Beth Sweeney stands out. I wanted her to come across as a seasoned, professional newswoman in spite of Copper’s sometimes unfair assessments of her. I was glad I could get Copper to appreciate her in the end.
Layla: There’s no doubt that Copper can land herself in the stickiest (and creepiest) of situations. Can we expect another Copper Black mystery anytime soon?
Megan: Copper is returning in a prequel this November. In Full Service Blonde, she investigates the murder of a prostitute from one of Nevada’s legal brothels while she juggles boyfriends, work, and family.
Layla: There’s one final thing that I’m dying to know. Will Oscar ever get his own story? (This one isn’t really a serious question, haha.)
Megan: Oscar will return! I don’t have a publication date yet, but Oscar will appear again in Copper’s third escapade, Graveyard Bowling.
There you have it, folks. Not only do we have some more mysteries to look forward to, but we also have an Oscar appearance coming soon! Stay tuned for more from Megan Edwards.
Again, I want to give a huge thank you to Megan for taking the time to “stop by” here. Getting Off On Frank Sinatra will be released on March 14, 2017, but you can pre-order a copy from Amazon now! If you’d like to get your hands on a copy for free, the publishers were kind enough to provide me with a copy to give away to one of you. This particular giveaway is US only, so I apologize to those of you outside of the States. To enter this giveaway, all you have to do is follow this blog (and chances are that you’re already following me if you are reading this) + comment on this blog post! Tell me why you want to read this book! You can also retweet the giveaway post on my Twitter (@LaylaFray) for a BONUS entry. Giveaway ends on March 18th and the winner will be chosen at random. Good luck to everyone!